Gabriel Ngo

March 22, 2021

Leading People and Managing Things in Succession Planning

“Funerals just don’t happen by themselves.” – said every Funeral Director ever No, funerals simply do not happen by themselves.  They require expertise, planning, coordination, teamwork, management, and leadership in order to successfully serve a family and perform a funeral service—not to mention the consistency to do this over and over again at the highest level of performance. So why is it then, that the same typically does not occur in succession planning for most funeral home owners?  In a November 2020 Funeral Business Planning Survey published by an outside research firm in partnership with the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), nearly three out of four (73%) respondents do not currently have an exit strategy or succession plan, despite more than one-third planning on retiring within the next five-years. Now, I won’t get into the reasons why this typically is […]
February 21, 2021

Funeral Service Reimagined In A Post Pandemic World

“Do the best you can until you know better.  Then when you know better, do better” – Maya Angelou (Poet/Activist) This quote above seems so simple, does it not?  Do better when you know better.  But as often is the case, simple things are incredibly difficult to do…especially when everything has been changed by a world that has experienced Covid-19.  Dealing with and adapting to change is difficult enough for most, much less dealing with and adapting to a change that has forced its way into literally every space of our lives. In continuing to spotlight various perspectives of interest from our 2020 Foresight Funeral and Cemetery Consumer Behavior Study (FCCBS), Foresight Focus recently published a third White Paper entitled, How Covid-19 Changed The Role Of The Funeral And Cemetery Professional.  In it, we examined what wants the consumer revealed […]
January 22, 2021

Paycheck Protection Program: Part Deux

“Money, if it does not bring you happiness, will at least help you be miserable in comfort.” – Helen Gurley Brown (Author/Publisher) On January 8, 2021, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) re-opened its acceptance of applications for capital access from both new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers beginning the week of January 11th.  Community banks and financial institutions began accepting first draw and second draw PPP applications starting the week of January 11th.  All other participating lenders were allowed by the SBA to begin accepting PPP applications shortly thereafter. The SBA also issued some new guidance surrounding this round of PPP which authorizes up to $284 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses through the application deadline of March 21, 2021.  Key PPP guidance updates include the following: First time […]
December 21, 2020

Technology Adoption Is A Must Nowadays…But Not A Silver Bullet

“Science and technology revolutionize our lives, but memory, tradition, and myth frame our response.” – Arthur M. Schlesinger (Historian) As always, I like to begin with a quote…firstly, to hopefully whet the brain’s appetite a little for the reader, and secondly, to provide somewhat of a theme for what I am about to write. In our recent Foresight Focus White Paper entitled Five Ways Technology Is Changing The Profession, we highlighted certain findings from our 2020 Foresight Funeral & Cemetery Consumer Behavior (FFCCB) Study on how the pandemic had changed consumer behaviors and forced our profession to adopt technology in order to continue serving families.  Those five highlights included the following: Investing in and embracing technology. Becoming comfortable with virtual communication. Being transparent with online information. Making it simple for consumers to interact with you. Failure is an option. For […]
November 23, 2020

Your Funeral Service Convocation Is Worth Being Transparent About

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” – A.A. Milne, The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh I wanted to begin with this Winnie-the-Pooh quote as the theme of this writing.  However, I will tie this quote back into everything at the end. In our recently published 2020 Foresight Funeral & Cemetery Consumer Behavior Study, it reveals several key ways in which the pandemic has changed funeral and cemetery services in the minds and attitudes of the consumer in the United States—with most of these changes now universally recognized as permanent for a profession that simply has not changed significantly over the last century.  Some key consumer behavioral changes are directly related to pricing transparency online and include the following: 75% of consumers state that they want access to pricing online. 52% of consumers state that […]
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